January 14, 2014

NBCC finalists announced


national-book-critics-circleThe National Book Critics’ Circle finalists for 2013 were announced yesterday. There are five finalists in each of the six categories, plus three winners who have already been announced. The awards ceremony is scheduled for March 13 at the New School, and it is open to the public.

There’s a new prize for first books in any genre (always nice to hear; we have a soft spot for debut writers), and the winner has already been announced. The inaugural John Leonard Prize, which is decided by the votes of all 600 NBCC members, will go to Anthony Marra’s A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, which was published by Hogarth.

The two other lucky individuals who get to show up to the event without sweaty palms are Katherine A. Powers, who will receive the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, and Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, the recipient of the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition to Powers, four finalists for the same award were announced: Ruth Franklin, James Marcus, Roxana Robinson and Alexandra Schwartz.

Maybe you’re interested in reading the titles nominated this particular award, or maybe you just like reading long lists of authors’ names. Either way, here’s the list in full.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah (Knopf)
Alice McDermott, Someone (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Javier Marías, The Infatuations, translated by Margaret Jull Costa (Knopf)
Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being (Viking)
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch (Little, Brown)

Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy, Whitey Bulger: America’s Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice (Norton)
Sheri Fink, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital (Crown)
David Finkel, Thank You for Your Service (Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
George Packer, The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Lawrence Wright, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief (Knopf)

Frank Bidart, Metaphysical Dog (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Lucie Brock-Broido, Stay, Illusion (Knopf)
Denise Duhamel, Blowout (University of Pittsburgh Press)
Bob Hicok, Elegy Owed (Copper Canyon)
Carmen Gimenez Smith, Milk and Filth (University of Arizona Press)

Sonali Deraniyagala, Wave (Knopf)
Aleksandar Hemon, The Book of My Lives (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby (Viking)
Jesmyn Ward, Men We Reaped (Bloomsbury)
Amy Wilentz, Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter From Haiti (Simon & Schuster)

Scott Anderson, Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East (Doubleday)
Leo Damrosch, Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World (Yale University Press)
John Eliot Gardiner, Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven (Knopf)
Linda Leavell, Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Mark Thompson, Birth Certificate: The Story of Danilo Kis (Cornell University Press)

Hilton Als, White Girls (McSweeney’s)
Mary Beard, Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures and Innovations (Liveright)
Jonathan Franzen, The Kraus Project: Essays by Karl Kraus, translated and annotated by Jonathan Franzen with Paul Reitter and Daniel Kehlmann (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Janet Malcolm, Forty-One False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Franco Moretti, Distant Reading (Verso)



Kirsten Reach is an editor at Melville House.